This Budget Day workers are making it clear the economy needs to work for them

Rishi Sunak looking worried, agencies TUC anti-strike laws
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Wednesday 15 March is Budget Day in the UK – the day when the chancellor of the exchequer announces how much worse-off non-millionaires will be for the upcoming six months. With the cost of living crisis continuing to bite, this Budget Day will see many workers – including the National Education Union (NEU) – taking to the streets to demand better pay, better conditions, and better prospects.

Things can only decline for so long before the people demand more, and – according to Socialist Worker – over 500,000 workers will be making their demands clear this week.

SOS – ‘Save our Schools’ on Budget Day

The NEU will stage one of the most significant strikes of the day. According to the union:

On 15 March members of the National Education Union (NEU) will begin two days of strike action in our campaign to win a fully funded, above-inflation pay rise.

Our last national strike day on 1 February was a huge success and, following regional events at the end of February, we will be asking members to attend a national demonstration in London on 15 March.

The march will assemble in Hyde Park at 12 noon and march to Trafalgar Square, for speeches and carnival games.

We do not want to go on strike – we want to be in the classroom, teaching and supporting children and young people.

Read on...

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But there is a crisis of recruitment and retention within the school system fuelled by a decade of falling pay and this needs to be addressed by the Government.

We are asking members of the public, parents and supporters to join us on the demonstration, which will be family friendly and fun.

Please RSVP using our form.

The NEU site features comments from its members on why they’re striking. Primary school teacher Emma said:

I always wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to make a difference. But, if I’m honest, I’m struggling a little. A large part of my pay goes towards nursery fees and, with the rising cost of living, I have found myself having to think about whether I can afford treats for my children, holidays or even whether I would be able to offer them help in the future if they go to uni.

I didn’t come into teaching to become rich, but I did expect that I wouldn’t have to worry about the bills. I genuinely believe teachers deserve better than this. I’m glad we are making a stand.

Socialist Worker is predicting that over 250,000 teachers will be involved in the strikes.

Broader action on top of the NEU

Other strikes set to coincide with the budget week include:

  • 100,000 civil service workers in the PCS (Public and Commercial Services) Union.
  • 48,000 junior doctors in the BMA (British Medical Association) on 13, 14, and 15 March.
  • 1,500 London Underground workers in the ASLEFT (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen).
  • 40,000 rail workers (16 March).

There will also be involvement from the University and College Union (UCU).

Meanwhile, on Sunday 12 March the British Medical Association (BMA) spoke out against what it described as “misleading claims” in a BBC article:

The BMA was forced to point out that horrendous working patterns are involved:

And that junior doctors receive shockingly low pay:

The good fight

Between the government and the mainstream media, the trade unions have clearly got a hell of a fight on their hands. However, they do have one thing going for them. There are a lot more honest people than there are crooked politicians and dodgy journalists. This Budget Day, those numbers will be made as clear as they ever have been.

Featured image via Sky News – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. Worker’s pay and conditions are likely to be forgotten if the banking bubble bursts. The printing presses are going to roll and our money will be just so much nearly worthless paper. Each time this happens, the wealthy are insulated by spreading wide, while the rest of us find our money buys even less.

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